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Describe a living or a fictional character.

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are lots of memorable fictional characters that one might choose to describe. Some are memorable because of what they do, some are memorable because of who they are, and some are memorable because of what they look like.

One character who is perhaps memorable for all three reasons, and whom I will therefore attempt to describe below, is the Hatter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. He is more commonly known, although never described as such by Lewis Carroll, as the Mad Hatter.

The Mad Hatter is a peculiar, eccentric, and sometimes frightening character. He delights in being outrageously rude, and he takes great pleasure in confounding Alice with bizarre, nonsensical riddles. He can also be rather cruel, as when, for example, he pours hot tea over the sleeping Dormouse's nose.

Yet what is most memorable about the Mad Hatter is his physical appearance. In the books he always seems to be carrying "a cup of tea in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other." Other than this, his physical appearance in the books is mostly suggested by his behavior. The latter is idiosyncratic, eccentric, and strange, and we therefore assume that the former, too, is idiosyncratic, eccentric, and strange.

In the recent movie adaptations, in which he is played by Johnny Depp, the Mad Hatter is portrayed with bright red hair, a face painted white, and wide, green, mad eyes. His clothes are colorful and eccentric. Altogether, his physical appearance suggests a clownish figure, comical but at the same time disconcertingly strange.

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